Next up on our artist interview is the lovely Miss Kerry Lemon whom I’ve had the pleasure of discovering when she submitted her thoughts on personal style in the second issue of the Good to Know zine. I love her beautiful, intricate lines and the distinct repetition of patterns found throughout her works.
Tell us a little more about yourself!
My name is Kerry Lemon and I live with my wonderful creative boyfriend Steve and our two tabby cats Champ and Chief. I set up my business as an artist/illustrator in October 2008 and I am so excited to be doing exactly what I love.
As a child I was always drawing, I would spend hours drawing every hair on a tiger’s face, or the close texture of a carpet. Drawing remains a daily passion, and my interest in line, pattern and repetition is evident in the scales of a lizard, texture of a biscuit or tiles upon a roof. I enjoy working out how to construct these inherent patterns, and once the pattern is developed, repeating it in order to complete the drawing offers a creative, repetitive, and rewarding task.
I draw highly detailed works in sketchbooks, often on location, and then scan and colour them digitally. I love the process and inherent beauty of drawing as a process and product, and I particularly enjoy drawing the natural world. The chance to capture the way I see the world using only paper and a pen offers endless subject, challenge and appeal; there is nothing I would rather do.
What stands out about living in the UK, and what is your daily schedule like?
I couldn’t say what stands out about living in the UK as I’ve never lived anywhere else, but I love the UK (even the rain!). I am very lucky to live where I do, in a quiet pretty village on the edge of Windsor Great Park yet close to the museums and galleries of London.
My drawing days start with feeding my gorgeous tabby cats, and then a giant cup of coffee whilst checking emails. I listen to BBC Radio Four all day long as I find it excellent company, but as soon as I start drawing I zone out and can’t hear it anymore. If the drawing is going well then I’m likely to remain in my studio (in the spare room of our flat) until Steve comes home. If the drawing is going badly then I’ll take a break by looking through my favourite art books and old sketchbooks, have another giant cup of coffee and have another go. My drawing days are really precious so I always make sure that I’ve planned out what I need to get done the night before to make sure that I get the most out of it. I’m a real list person!
How did you get your start in illustration?
I got my start in illustration from QEST, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. They awarded me a scholarship of £10,000 to study illustration in Cambridge which was completely life changing and I will always be very grateful!
Could you tell us more about your thought process when you start a piece?
Everything starts with drawing for me, ideally I would have the time to sketch and play for a long time but that’s not always possible. Often it starts with a lot of research, particularly if I’m illustrating a piece that I know little or nothing about.
Do you keep a journal/sketchbook, and would you mind if we had a sneak peek?
I am such a fan of sketchbooks, they help me to remember places and thoughts and have come in helpful providing a wealth of images for last minute commissions!
What or who inspires you?
I am influenced by everything, but particularly (and in no particular order) Outsider Art, Indian Miniature Painting, Islamic patterns, Textile design, Van Gogh’s drawings, Bonnard’s colour, Rococo chocolate’s packaging, Carll Cneut and Joanna Concejo.
What keeps you motivated?
It’s not something that requires motivation, I just really love drawing!
What’s your favourite tool?
Fine line black pens.
Are you a full-time artist?
Nope. I supplement my business income by working three days a week in Arts Development for the local council. The role of Arts Development is to support local artists, and to promote and provide opportunities for the community to engage in the arts, so it’s a really nice way to supplement my income, and a great chance to meet and network with other artists.
Where do you see yourself within the next few years?
I would love to attract more commissions and exhibitions and to have stopped biting my nails!
What message do you want to send out to people about your work?
I just hope that the work conveys how much I love to draw, I am so passionate about my practice.
Tell us something random about yourself!
I am a tiny 4? 10? person with size 3 feet and an excellent tap dancer.